three words

Exactly five weeks from this very moment I will be waking up Ginger, E and BabyGirl for their first day of school!  Five weeks!  Eek!

I know there may be some of you who love summer vacation.  Love the laid-back, non-scheduled, without routine lazy days of summer.  I am not one of you.  I enjoy it for about the first three weeks & that’s primarily due to the lack of homework-which I adore!!  But then sometime in about week 4 I begin to forget the homework battle and begin to remember the comfort of routine.  And I long for those 3 words – Back to School.

Ginger will begin High School this autumn.  High School!  When did that happen?  “Things Count Now!” I keep repeating to him, hoping that he’ll actually listen and understand that “things count now!”.  E will be in 7th grade.  I clearly remember 7th grade.  Clearly.  I remember my locker, my locker partner {hey Nicole!}, my classes, my friends.  I remember feeling awkward, out of place, and hoping to just fit in somewhere.  7th grade was tough.  I don’t know if it’s that way for boys i hope not.  And BabyGirl begins Middle School.  Ugh!  Although just a fifth grader, here in our district that’s middle school.  I have no one at the Elementary any more.  Those year have drifted away.  Sad?  maybe a little.  But she’s beyond over the moon to be in middle school!

So, five more weeks.  All three kiddos head to church camp for a week here soon {yes, all 3-all gone-all week!!  glorious!}  back to school will really be here before I know it.  And you can bet on my complaining at about week three about all the homework & wishing for these lazy summer days 😉  Guess I better sit back and enjoy these moments – all the wrappers and cans everywhere, the popcorn all over the floor in front of the tv, the bedrooms I cannot see the floors of and the giggles from the pool and food that disappears from the pantry faster than I can stock it.  It will be replaced soon with books and pencils and reports and last minute projects…

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& we are His

psalm 100.3

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Pinterest Try: Tangy Cucumber Soup

pinterest and meI am swimming in cucumbers.  A dozen massive cukes every single time I look in the garden.  There are only so many cucumbers one family can eat, my friends.  I took a load to the food shelf today & from the look on the volunteer’s face who took them, I think she was also thinking “there are only so many cucumbers that one can eat, my friend”.

So what to do with all these cucumbers?  Pinterest is the only logical answer.  While scouring the biggest recipe collection on the planet, I ran across a recipe for cold cucumber soup.  Now I must admit I ignored it at first as the hubs & I had a very bad experience several years back with an awful batch of gazpacho, but all. those. cucumbers.

The original recipe is from Food & Wine.  Tangy Cucumber Soup.  It looks amazing!  I couldn’t wait to try.

I followed the recipe exactly.  It was quite easy to prepare, requiring minimal utensils.  I used all fresh, good quality ingredients {since there are so few, you gotta make each one count}.  As you can see my version lacks the bright, vibrant green shade of the pinterest version.  Could be photo magic, I suppose, but I was slightly disappointed in the blah color of mine.  But the flavor was fantastic!  It was fresh, like summer.  It tasted like a cool cucumber that had just been picked from the garden.  My kids all said it tasted a bit like a dill pickle {guess that would be the dill}.  My husband, still unable to get past that gazpacho debacle of the last decade, didn’t enjoy it too much, but did tell me it was nice.  I’ll take that.

This recipe gets a 3.5/5 stars from me.  I would make it again {heaven knows I have enough cucumbers}.  Give it a try.  Let me know what you think.  Good luck with all your Pinterest tries!

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Be still…cold brew deliciousness.

IMG_2084This.

I am a gal who seldom does anything on a whim.  Analytical, calculated, planned.  These describe me.  Whim?  Yeah, not really.  But this was a whim of amazingness!  Have you tried this?  I mixed mine up in a big ole’ glass with ice & cream & sugar.  Real stuff, nothing fake.  Holy Hannah.  Oh boy.  This.

done.

It started bad.  Friday morning I awoke to a thunderstorm.  Downpour of rain & flashes of lightning.  Ugh!  Lucky for me the storm ended just in time to get my signs out, just a few minutes before opening. Signs.  Bright pink.  Easy to see.  I was nearly done with placement at all the major road crossings I could find and I headed to the barn to open ‘er up.  Drats!  Left the barn keys at the house.  Flip the car around and head back to the house.  What’s this?  Mud at the barn? What’s this?  Car sliding through the mud at the barn?!  What the what?  Car stuck in the mud!  Can it get worse?  Flip flops on my feet!  Seriously!  But lucky for me goodness really does exist & some nice guy who said he loved to use his tow-strap every chance he could {which my dear hubby said was clearly some weird mid-west pickup line}, was able to get me out.  Let the sale begin!

I sat in a hot, stuffy barn for two days with our worn out, no longer desired stuff in hopes that they would be someone else’s can’t live without treasures.  I did meet a lot of interesting characters with all kinds of stories to tell.  Amazing what strangers share with each other while they’re rummaging through stacks of old kids clothing.  Something intimate & inviting, I suppose, about going through people’s personal belongings that makes you want to open up.  And share. Too much.  One nice lady offered a wonderful critique of my bright pink signs.  She said the people across the street were also having a sale & they had placed a bright pink sign in their yard.  She felt it was terribly confusing that we both had pink signs.  She suggested I change my signs to bright green – less confusion she said.  Sure.  Great tip.  Next time. Better yet…no next time!

But it’s done now.  Everything that didn’t go, is gone off to meet a new family at our local thrift store.  And I’m nearly 100% certain next time I’ll bypass the sale part altogether & just package it all up for the thrift store in the first place.

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Go do it!

ezra 10.4 What’s your assignment today?  Love on someone?  Offer grace?  Be a humble helper?  Change a wrong, forgive a friend, celebrate another’s victory?  Our tasks aren’t always huge, enormous, change-the-entire-world things.  Dare I say those assignments are rare.  More often they’re the little everyday things that are talked about throughout the Word.  Sometimes they are joyful and easy.  But sometimes they’re I-don’t-want-to-do-this hard.  But He says “get up! get going! and do it!”

And we can’t just focus on our tasks.  We are to be the “we are with you” folks too.  We must be there for our sisters & brothers as they’re arising and doing what they need to do.

Two parts- get up & get to work on your tasks & support those who are also getting up & getting their stuff done!

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Never. Ever. Never

The last time we did this I promised I would never do it again.  Ever.  Never.  Ever.  But here I sit, enjoying the peace of the morning with my coffee and the birds dreading the work ahead of me.  Two nasty words…Garage Sale.  Ick.  I now clearly remember why I said never when we finished up the last one.

I’ve been up to my eyeballs in price stickers and sharpies for the past week.  Every single toy {and I do mean every single one} that I pull out of a box, rescue from a top shelf or pull from the black hole pit of the closet of the hoarder child, suddenly becomes the most amazing thing anyone has ever seen & “we can’t possibly be selling this prized possession, Mom!”.  Puppy dog eyes and pouty lips and all.  Serious.  Haven’t seen it since we moved two moves ago, but it is the most important thing in life.  “Do we really have to sell it, Mom?”  Yes.  Gone.  Less is more, my child.  Less is more!

I have very little sentimental attachment to anything.  I actually think it might be a problem and perhaps when I’m old and my children won’t come visit me because I sold the junk at the back of the closet at a garage sale in 2015 thus ruining their life forever, I’ll wish I had kept more than one tote of mementos.  {deep breath}  But as for now, I’m content with just the basics – coming home from the hospital outfit, first shoes, hospital bands, a really nice picture with a hand or foot print-whatever fits in the hope chest on top of my wedding dress.  That’ll have to do when I’m old and alone.

But the garage sale.  Ugh!  The word even makes me anxious.  So much to get done.  Hauling it all out of the house to the barn, setting it all up on tables, pricing it all, watching people pick through it in a barn that’s likely to be sitting at about 150ºF and negotiating for quarters.  Sounds like a delightful way to spend a couple of days.  And in the end, if I’m real lucky, I might have $50 more than I have today.  Yay!  And I’ll repeat “we are never doing this again.  Ever.  Never!”

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Hello!

A blank page on a blank blog.  It’s a bit intimidating really.  What if I fill this page, this blog, with nonsense?  What if I say something that’s incorrect?  What if I say something that makes me look & sound stupid?  Or makes you think I’m a dork?  What if my punctuation is wrong and my run-on sentences are too much for you to follow?  {heads up – they will be}.

I lost my voice.  I had it. And then I didn’t.  Back then, I worried little about the words that I typed being wrong or bad or dork-like.  I just spilled my heart onto the page.  Sometimes it was beautiful & sometimes it was ugly & awful. Adventures…everyday held it all.  I wrote.  And learned.  And tried.  Until I lost my voice.  I was overcome with the feeling that the grace of others was inadequate to cover the words I stuck on these pages.  I could hear them {if only in my head} reminding me that I didn’t know that much, that I was wrong, that I was {in fact} a dork.  It was no one really making me feel that way.  Only me.  Me getting all up inside my head and telling myself that my words didn’t matter.  But I was wrong.  I have something to say.

It’ll be beautiful.  Sometimes.  I wish it was all the time, but honestly, it’s going to be hit n’ miss.  There will be mistakes and venting and unbeautiful stuff. Just like life.  Please hang in there with me.  Hear me & hear my heart.  Call me out when I’m being ugly.  And celebrate the beautiful stuff {it might be a short party}.

I’m excited to fill this blog up with me.  With what’s inside.  Chickens and family and gardens and food and running and God.  That’s what I have inside-ready to let out.

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